Blizzard is buying the development studio responsible for magical battle royale Spellbreak, Proletariat, and moving their staff over to work on World Of Warcraft. The purveyors of all things Azeroth confirmed the buyout in a statement to VentureBeat. News of the acquisition comes just a day after Spellbreak’s imminent demise was revealed by Proletariat on the game’s website.
Spellbreak is now expected to shut down its servers in early 2023, according to Proletariat. The wand-waving wizard battler launched in 2018 and allowed players to become battlemages. Always my favorite class in Morrowind, battlemage. Proletariat’s 100 staff, based in Boston, Massachusetts, will transition to working on Blizzard’s ancient and similarly fantastical MMORPG World Of Warcraft. Their work will reportedly include the upcoming Dragonflight expansion, due for release by the end of this year. No word on how much Blizz paid.
“Folks in World of Warcraft have a voracious appetite for content,” WOW’s general manager John Hight told Venturebeat, “and what we’ve seen over the last year is that we need to increase the amount of content that we can create, and the frequency with which we’re putting it in the hands of our players.”
CEO of Proletariat Seth Sivak said that some of the earliest conversations his company had with Blizzard involved how the larger organization was improving their culture. “Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done to continue to make an awesome place for developers to work,” Sivak said, “but we were pretty happy and satisfied with the direction that teams are going.”
Blizzard’s parent company Activision Blizzard are still dealing with legal issues and reports alleging a discriminatory and harassing working environment. So far this year, Microsoft announced they are to acquire the company for $69 billion (£50 billion), and Blizzard Entertainment head Mike Ybarra has said he’s committed to fostering change. Actiblizz’s shareholders recently voted to re-elect CEO Bobby Kotick to the board of directors for another year, in spite of calls for his resignation from employees.
World Of Warcraft: Dragonflight will be available to download and play via Battle.net later this year for £40/$50/€50.